Geneva Harrell Billingsley, referred to as Neet, Gypsy, and Bay, was born on April 10, 1938, in Marion Junction, Alabama to John and Inez Harrell. She was the last of 12 children. Geneva accepted Christ at an early age while on The Mourning Bench. After graduating from high school, she met her future husband, Odell Billingsley, through mutual relatives.
On August 9, 1959, Geneva married Odell Billingsley in Marion Junction, Alabama and soon after she moved to Fort Wayne, IN with new husband Odell.
After arriving in Fort Wayne, Geneva joined husband Odell and became a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church.
Her first job upon arriving in Fort Wayne was at Hutner’s Paris (Ladies Wear) in downtown Fort Wayne. Several years later, her third son was born and she decided to stay home, becoming a housewife.
While at home, she became a pretty good cook and loved to bake. Her favorite was her poundcakes. She started a vegetable garden during this time and became pretty good at gardening as well. Geneva also did some babysitting for family and some friends. Geneva enjoyed talking to her sisters on the phone who all lived far apart from each other. Geneva enjoyed listening to old time gospel music, especially Mahalia Jackson and others from that time period. She loved to travel back to Alabama for family reunions or just to see the old place she grew up as a child. Geneva and husband Odell also traveled around the country to some of the more popular travel destinations. She would also go on bus trips with other ladies including Annette Russell and Gussie Williams.
She leaves to cherish her memories her husband Odell of 63 years, a son Winfred (Cara L.) Billingsley, a son Dofrey (Megan) Billingsley, all of Fort Wayne, IN and a son A. Lane Billingsley of Los Angeles, Ca. Grandchildren Kendall Billingsley of Fort Wayne, Tracy Black Jr. and Victoria Black, both of Indianapolis, IN, and one goddaughter Patricia Woods Causey of Fort Wayne, IN.
She was preceded in death by her parents John Harrell and Inez Harrell as well as all of her siblings.
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